This release is the culmination of nearly five months of steady work, with contributions from 19 developers. For this release, we primarily focused on improving the stability and performance of the renter. To achieve this, @DavidVorick and our new employee @ChrisSchinnerl designed and implemented a new write-ahead log package, which @lukechampine leveraged to create a new on-disk format for file contracts. This allows contracts to be updated efficiently while maintaining ACID properties, like a database. @DavidVorick also reworked much of the upload code, resulting in more throughput and more reliable file repairs. And as always, we made tons of bug fixes and performance improvements throughout the code base, affecting nearly every file in the project.

Importantly, this release contains a fix for the new difficulty algorithm that was introduced in v1.3.0. This fix is a hardfork that activates at block 139,000, which is expected to occur in late January, 2018. So before celebrating the new year, please ensure that you have upgraded your nodes to v1.3.1!

Supplying your wallet password and API password (if you use one) is now easier, thanks to contributions by @petabytestorage and @ericflo, respectively. If you set the SIA_WALLET_PASSWORD and SIA_API_PASSWORD environment variables, siad and siac will automatically use them. Previously, these passwords had to be supplied via an interactive prompt, which made certain operations annoying to automate.

We had so many contributors to this release that I can't list everything they did. But I'd like to especially thank our first-time contributors: @mharkus, @aryzle, @aiorla, @nielscastien, @ericflo, @pedrorivera, @roipoussiere, @huetsch, @chrsch, @annalissac, and @dNetGuru. Of course, our returning contributors also submitted some great PRs to this release: @vevarm, @S-anasol, @petabytestorage, @eddiewang, @starius, and @mtlynch. Finally, a huge thank you to @tbenz9 for tirelessly cleaning up our issue tracker, creating a new issue template, and generally making the project friendlier to newcomers.